Tag Archives: Celtic

The “Strong Leader” in Football – What Matters Most – The Role or the Achievements?

A new blog has recently emerged onto the field of Scottish football writing – The Rangers Standard.

As it says in its manifesto:-

“The Rangers Standard is a project aimed at promoting positive and innovative thinking about the club and its role in Scottish football and society.

This is an opportunity to examine the club’s history and development, re-claim neglected or forgotten parts of its heritage, and reflect on how the Rangers community develops from here and how that future might be shaped by the concerns, hopes and visions of committed supporters.

We will encourage debate on all aspects of the club and will not shirk from confronting the hard topics such as sectarianism, national identity, and misgovernment by the custodians of the club in the recent and not so recent past.

We welcome well-constructed arguments and spirited polemic: the contributions of non-Rangers fans will be accepted provided they are constructive.”

In its guidelines for those seeking to contribute it states:-

“4. In time we will accept articles from non Rangers fans but these must relate in some way to the club or issues surrounding it and must be constructive.”

The piece below was written for the Rangers Standard, but failed even to achieve the accolade of a rejection.  Whether it was too long, too short, too dull, too negative or insufficiently constructive I do not know. Nonetheless I wish the project well. You can never have too much good writing.

Sadly though I cannot add the Rangers Standard to Labour Hame, Scotzine, the Open Justice Project, the Helensburgh Advertiser (many years ago) and the Scottish Football Monitor amongst the places from where my words of wisdom have been inflicted on an unsuspecting world. Continue reading

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Filed under Blogging, Charles Green, Football, Rangers

Has Green Got The Right AIM For Rangers? Footballing Share Issues – Guest Post by Ecojon

 

As TV money flooded into the EPL in the 1990s football club owners flocked to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) which developed a ‘Midas aka Cash Convertor Touch’ by allowing owners to generate cash from the newly increased value of their club and within a few years 27 teams were listed.

Some owners might have been driven by personal greed but to be fair most of the cash income went on buying players and paying over-inflated wages. But that had the effect of diverting dividends from shareholders and this had a knock-on effect of depressing club share values. This fall in value was heightened by the global stock market plunge which plunged shares lower.

At this stage it is worth giving a FINANCIAL HEALTH WARNING!

Anyone buying shares should always remember that what goes up can come down and sometimes end up with NIL value. Football clubs also had a specific problem in that tens of thousands of shareholders only held one or a handful of shares bought as gifts for soccer mad relatives, friends or workmates. This created quite significant administrative problems and costs on top of the already high expenses to satisfy the regulatory framework of the investment industry. Continue reading

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Filed under Charles Green, Guest Posts, Rangers

What If Celtic Accept Wrong-doing re Juninho’s EBT? Aberdeen SPL Winners 2005?

A quick thought.

The BBC reported this tonight

Have any other Scottish football clubs been involved with EBT schemes?

BBC Scotland Investigates wrote to all of the Scottish Premier League’s member clubs and asked whether they had ever operated an EBT scheme.

Celtic confirmed that it established one EBT scheme in April 2005, which BBC Scotland understands was for the benefit of the Brazilian midfielder Juninho Paulista. The scheme was worth £765,000 but the club did not declare the trust payment to the Scottish Football Association or the Scottish Premier League.

The payments made to the trust were declared in Celtic’s annual report for 2004/2005, but in 2008 the club became aware of an event giving rise to a potential tax liability which was subsequently paid after agreement with HMRC.

The remaining 10 SPL clubs replied and confirmed they had never set up an EBT scheme for any of their employees.

————————————- Continue reading

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Filed under Celtic, Football

Now Celtic FC Ltd is involved in a case in the Court of Session!

Today has been awash with stories about Rangers and its finances etc.

However, that has not stopped me reading the court lists as usual, and today finding another interesting looking case.

The Calling List has as one of the cases the following:-

Celtic FC Ltd, Celtic Park, Glasgow AG Ross John Connolly…, Glasgow

Celtic FC Ltd is represented by Harper MacLeod, Solicitors. Interestingly that same firm acts for Craig Whyte in the court action being pursued against him by his estranged wife.

Some might be surprised by the same firm (I am sure not the same individual lawyer) acting for both Celtic and Mr Whyte. But, at the top levels of the legal profession, there are few firms with the reputation of Harper MacLeod.

Anyway, back to Mr Connolly.

I was looking to see if there was information to suggest Celtic was in dispute with a person of that name. What appeared was this linked Daily Record story. It suggests that this Mr Connolly who has been sued is the same man who, allegedly, assaulted a Celtic steward at the match in December against Udinese, when the steward tried to remove his offensive banner.

Why take him to court?

I suggest these possibilities.

1                    Having banned him for life, Celtic wants a formal court order to keep him away. That would be unnecessary, in my view. Celtic Park is private property and the Club can refuse entry to whomever it likes. Of course, there might be the added factor of actually having a court order against Mr Connolly, in the form of an interim and then a permanent interdict.

2                    Celtic may be pursuing him for payment of damages. This could be a pre-emptive strike on the basis that the Club will seek to recover disciplinary penalties levied on it because of Mr Connolly’s alleged actions. In addition, it may be that Celtic can attribute substantial costs already to Mr Connolly.

3                    The case will not be one for the steward who was allegedly assaulted. If he wishes to pursue a claim, then he could pursue Mr Connolly personally, or event, if it was felt that Celtic might, in some way, have failed in their legal duty of care to the steward, he could even pursue the Club.

4                    Most of all, I suspect that this is an example of being seen to be doing something. If Celtic, in legal terms, is seen to have done all it can to punish Mr Connolly and to prevent a repetition by him (by barring him from all Celtic games for life), then this might be seen to be to Celtic’s advantage when UEFA deals with the fallout from that game.

Celtic still has to attend the UEFA committee dealing with that match. They can however say that they are pursuing Mr Connolly for as much as the civil courts allow.

Messrs Levy & McRae, with a long track record of protecting Ibrox from closure due to the sectarian singing and chanting by some of the Rangers fans, took a twin track approach of full and frank apologies to UEFA, and statements of intent or actual action  taken as far as the miscreants went.

It might be that this is the best route down which to travel, and thus mitigate the penalties that might otherwise be applied.

I do not think it likely that the case of Celtic v Connolly will ever reach the stage of a contested court hearing. Celtic can leave that to its cross-city rivals.

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Filed under Celtic v Connolly, Civil Law, Courts, Football, UEFA

The Daily Record Calms The Atmosphere Before Old Firm Game With Headline About Hatred of Neil Lennon

Sheriff Fiona Reith said  this week, when sentencing John Wilson for his breach of the peace at the game where he did NOT assault Neil Lennon the following.

The football match was a high profile game between Celtic and Hearts.  There was evidence that there was a “terrible”, “very tense” and “poisonous” atmosphere in the stadium between both sets of supporters with racist and sectarian shouting and chanting coming from supporters…  PC Cleghorn … described how extreme antagonism between both sets of supporters of a bigoted, sectarian nature “really kicked off”, as he put it.  He described the atmosphere at this point as being very, very volatile and he feared a pitch incursion as the crowd was angry. 

“A breach of the peace can sometimes be a quite minor crime but sometimes it is not.  In this case it was not minor at all; it was serious, and with serious potential consequences in the context of what was already a highly volatile atmosphere in the crowd of over 16,000 football supporters.”

These comments, together with the “top line” sentence of 12 months showed recognition by the court that football games can be “powder kegs” where problems can quickly escalate. The courts clearly wish to take action to prevent repetitions of Mr Wilson’s criminal behaviour.

(c) Stadiumguide.com

Tomorrow Rangers play Celtic at Ibrox.

These games are always fraught with headaches for the police and security staff on duty. Whilst it would be wrong to classify everyone who attends these games as “bigoted” or “sectarian” no-one would dispute that there are “fans” on both sides who would qualify for that description. Bearing in mind that Rangers are in the midst of allegedly serious financial woes, and that neither team has started the season firing on all cylinders, tomorrow’s match is most definitely a “high profile” one where the atmosphere, especially if the game is going against one side, might well become poisonous.

In addition Neil Lennon has been the subject, over his time in Scotland, of physical attack, verbal assaults, vilification by opposing crowds throughout Scotland, abuse in the media and finally to threats and alleged nail bombs being sent to him.

Surely any responsible organisation would take care not to stoke the fires of hatred higher?

The back page of today’s Daily Record carries the headline – “Who is More Hated at Ibrox? Is it Lennon or the Taxman?”

Lower down the page, above an article titled “Ally: No Grudge Match” we see the infamous picture of the argument between Lennon and McCoist last season, showing the Celtic manager’s angry face, and the back of the Rangers’ boss’ head.

The piece inside the Record (which I have not read as it does not appear to be online) might be a detailed analysis of the issues regarding Lennon and the HMRC issues with Rangers – it might take care to provide a commentary on why Neil Lennon, above anyone else in Scottish football in recent times, has been subject to such vilification – it might try to assess why Neil Lennon is a particular thorn in the Rangers flesh.

However, even if it does, I fail to see how the headline and the juxtaposed picture can in any way assist the calming of the atmosphere tomorrow. If there is trouble, will the Record acknowledge that it could, even in the slightest way, have contributed? No – it will splash the story across the first six pages, with a pull out with all the photos inside.

Could it be argued that the headline commits, or is likely to cause, a breach of the peace? It possibly could, but there is no way that any proceedings would be brought against the Record for that – as we saw yesterday with the Met Police action against the Guardian (click the link for a trenchant criticism by Stephen Raeburn of the Firm Magazine), police action against the media provokes a civil liberties backlash which is entirely justified.

The rights of a free press to publish are vital to a properly functioning democratic society, but there is not, nor should there be, the right to shout “Fire” in a crowded cinema.

I am not advocating action against the Record for this, let that be clear, but I would hope that someone there would have a long look at this headline and avoid a repetition. Based on history, that might be a forlorn hope.

Interestingly last week, on BBC Radio Scotland, Jim Traynor, the experienced and respected Chief Sports Writer for the Record, pointed out most clearly that the journalists did not write the headlines, and that it was the sub-editors who did so. This was in connection with the articles about Rangers’ “War Chest” available under the new Craig Whyte regime. Jim Traynor denied vigorously to Chick Young that that was his phrase.

As I say, hopefully the person responsible will have a word in their ear, and even more so, one hopes that the game tomorrow is talked about afterwards for the football, and not far any trouble on or off the pitch.

 

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Filed under Courts, Criminal Law, Football, Press